Speech of The Head of Government, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch at Davos Forum 2023


Mr. President of the World Economic Forum,
Dear Mr. Klaus Schwab,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to speak at this meeting, at the beginning of the year 2023, and to take this opportunity to extend to you my best wishes.
It is our duty, collectively and individually, to deal with the year 2023 with conviction and optimism.
Our world has been shaken by successive crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the rising cost of raw materials and energy, as well as global warming.
Relations between states are thus subject to fragmentation.
It is also a danger that engulfs our societies, through the persistence of inequality and a sense of exclusion among certain segments of citizens.
The pace of new technologies, along with their ability to transform our daily lives, is accelerating and requires us to adapt quickly and dynamically.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As political and economic leaders, these profound changes question us and bind us at the same time.
On an immediate level, it puts us to the test and asks the question: how can we turn these challenges into opportunities?
In the long run, we are commanded to ask ourselves: what ideal of peace and prosperity can we guarantee for future generations?
Because we must make two observations at once:

Globalization does not always have positive dimensions. It does not always keep its promises.
Contrary to the myth that established the end of history, suggests everything still has to be done! It is up to Morocco, like Africa, to write its own letter.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the face of the enormity of the task ahead of us, the Kingdom of Morocco is an ideal partner for you and the world to build an answer that is simultaneously economic, political, environmental, and social.
As we live today in a multipolar world, the Kingdom, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, has become a regional model.
We have built modern and democratic institutions. Perhaps the most prominent witness to this is our constitution adopted in 2011, as well as the reform of the family code... Both are modernist measures, in the service of equality and human rights.
For its part, advanced regionalization has made it possible to introduce participatory democracy to all regions of the Kingdom.
We have built the infrastructure according to the best international standards, which has given Morocco an air-land-sea connection unparalleled in the region: 2,000 kilometers of highway network - Africa's first high-speed rail line - the continent's largest port on the Mediterranean Sea - and soon the largest port on the Atlantic... In addition to 14 international airports, they provide a very large connection capacity to the African continent.
These infrastructures have enabled Morocco to enjoy flexible and sovereign agriculture, a very attractive tourism sector, and high-performance industries, such as the automotive or aerospace industry, which have made the Kingdom two benchmarks.
We have established relations of trust that position Morocco as a privileged partner.
This is particularly the case in Africa, where, over the past twenty years, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has made more than 50 visits that have led to the signing of more than 1,000 cooperation agreements.
In the face of protectionist reactions, the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF), the largest free trade area, was born in Africa. Thanks to the strength of its free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States, and through the creation of ZLECAF, investment in Morocco gives access to a market of two billion consumers.

Morocco has also become a pioneer in sustainable development, which is the economic and human challenge of our generation. Thus, renewable energies account for 38% of our energy mix, as we look to raise them to more than 50% by 2030.
We work for peace and security, both in the region and in the world, by contributing to the dialogue of civilizations and contributing to the rapprochement of cultures, religions, and peoples, which in Morocco coexist in complete peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Morocco has all the qualifications to turn situational challenges with its partners into opportunities.
At the crossroads of Europe, the Atlantic, and Africa, Morocco's outstanding geostrategic potential puts it in a positive position to reorganize global value chains.
Morocco's competitive advantage in renewable energies, which is among the world's most abundant and least expensive, will culminate in the development of the green hydrogen sector. The Kingdom will thus be a key player in decarbonizing the global economy.
At a time when we are witnessing a historic transition, it is imperative that we offer the younger generations a new example, a new political pact, which allows them to think about the future with optimism.
In the face of this demand, and thanks to the wise royal leadership, Morocco is opening up to a new phase of development, characterized by the building of a social state.
Within one year, our government, in full respect of the royal agenda, was able to establish the regulatory framework for compulsory sickness insurance, guaranteeing the rights of two-thirds of citizens who have not benefited from it until now.
This year, we also aspire to go further by extending direct support in the form of family allowances, thanks to an effective targeting system for social assistance.
At the same time, our government has resolutely confronted the multiple crises that punctuated 2022: energy with the record rise in world prices... Climatic with the worst drought recorded in 40 years, and monetary with the return of inflation.
In Morocco, at the same time, we have taken measures to accompany and support the budget, as well as to maintain macroeconomic balances and priority reforms.
Our government has been able to ensure supply, contain inflation, and continue to reduce the deficit inherited from 2020.
In particular, we continue to invest in the future. The national health system has been completely re-engineered, a key concomitant of social protection reform workshops.
In 2023, we allocated a third of the state budget to health and education, of which $7 billion was allocated to schools. 
In the future, these important resources must be better used to improve our education system and enhance its performance. Because our goal is to rebuild confidence in public schools and strengthen the basic skills of all students.
Among other things, significant institutional progress has facilitated all these social reforms, especially since the government has chosen to resume a genuine and sustainable social dialogue with the trade union centrals, based on listening, negotiating, and moving forward together in an atmosphere of trust.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Morocco, we understand our strengths and the place we want to occupy.
On this basis, Morocco has adopted a new investment charter, which sets out a new attractive and stimulating framework targeting all investors, whether local or foreign and of various types of investments, whether small or large.
This charter is also the impetus behind the recent reforms aimed at simplifying tax procedures and harmonizing them with the best international standards, by reducing the tax burden on small and medium-sized enterprises, which constitute one of the levers of economic growth in our country.
Nevertheless, we are fully aware of the various challenges that we have to face.
Among them, we mention the need to ensure the future of our youth, by multiplying their opportunities to enter the labor market and unleash their creative energies.
At a time when the old economy collides with the new economy, where we wanted to integrate them, as you saw Mr. Schwab in your book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the issue of young people is, more than ever, crucial to any coherent and inclusive development project.
This is what Morocco aims to spread by 2035, by creating a strong link between the economic and social, while consolidating the red thread of environmental transition, which is now inevitable for all of us.
Indeed, this ambition raises a fundamental question: how do we allow the market to unleash its creative energy and social function while protecting our countries from a new major crisis?
In my opinion, priority stakes have been raised, because we are faced with a duty to maintain fluidity so that the economic machine does not malfunction, as well as a high vigilance towards the risks associated with the new economy.
The lesson that can be learned collectively is that the world can no longer tolerate hegemony, but participation.
This is in line with the Moroccan project for a solidary and sustainable society, in line with the vision of His Majesty the King, may God assist him, who calls for the establishment of a partnership "on an equal footing" with our partners.
In conclusion, I reiterate my full commitment, together with all members of His Majesty's Government, to accompany you step by step in the investment activity, through accelerated reforms and permanent improvement of investment conditions, in order to build together the path of creating shared value.

Thank you for your attention.